I have recently been having a hard time dealing with stress and anxiety. I think the reason for this is the constant going of nursing school. There is always somewhere to be and something to do. Regardless, this is what I signed for so I have to stay on top of things. If you fail to it is very easy to get behind and even fail out of nursing school. Luckily for me, I have finally been able to get into a flow that works for me. I wanted to share it in hopes that I am able to help someone else.
Get organized!!! You can start by getting a planner. This helps because my syllabi are always at least ten pages long on average I have at least three classes per quarter. Seeing what I have to do on a daily view is better than seeing what I have to do over an entire quarter. I also do not want to carry around several folders each class in order to stay on top of things.
Make sure that you are incorporating ME TIME! People often forget just how important this is. This can be achieved by making sure you are doing things that you love such as, hanging out with friends and treating yourself to something nice. Self-care is a must in nursing school. If you do not take care of yourself, it often develops into stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
Avoid Caffeine! Like majority of Americans, I too enjoy a cup of joe each morning. However, when you have anxiety sometimes coffee can make it worse. What is more, caffeine is know to cause gastrointestinal upset.
Practice Relaxation Techniques! People often underestimate the benefits of this. This can done by meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, etc. One of my favorites is tuning into the relaxation music on YouTube. It helps to put me in a better mood so that I am capable of being more productive.
Tell yourself Self-Affirmations! This is important because if you do not believe in yourself and can motivate yourself, you cannot expect someone else to. For example, you can do this by adding sticky notes to your bathroom mirror. Additionally, when you feel negative thoughts creeping into your mind, you can silence it by speaking something positive to counteract it. For spiritual or religious people, you can download applications to your phone that can send you daily devotionals.
Do NOT Cram! Cramming can create the most anxiety because you are putting unnecessary stress on yourself by not properly planning for an exam. In nursing school, there are usually minimum 6-7 chapters on one exam and these chapters have a wealth of information. When you wait until the last minute, you likely will not remember everything you studied. Also, you will not remember the information long term and that will not do you any good when it is time for the NCLEX. That brings me to my next point.
Shut Your Brain Off! You heard that right. Sometimes you have to learn to quiet your mind. I usually do this when I go into what I call “information overload.” This is basically when I studied for too long and now feel like I cannot retain any more information at the time. I step away from the material and go relax. Once I feel that I can handle looking at the information again, I go back to it. This can also be done the night before the exam. Instead of cramming more information the night before, just take a step back and do nothing. This will help you sleep better, feel refreshed the day of the exam, and hopefully help you perform better.
Seek Help. Unfortunately, sometimes are mental health can get far beyond our control. It may be some lingering trauma that we have yet to deal with or some genetics that are out of our control. If you feel that you are unable to maintain control of the anxiety, do not be afraid to seek professional help. This can be by way of a Licensed Clinical Profession Counselor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Therapist. Their services include but not limited to, therapy sessions (one on one or group) and medications.
Well that is all the tips I have for now. I really hope this can help someone. I am placing a link here for those who may be interested in aromatherapy. It is super useful for relaxation and stress relief.
Lastly, for more tips on dealing with anxiety, check out my YouTube video below.